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Jazz Articles | Blog

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 1 & 2

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Alto saxophonist Art Pepper's comeback began the release of Living Legend (Contemporary, 1975). His previous 20 years had been fully devoted to heroin and prison, and its aftermath. Following the release of Living Legend , Pepper toured Japan in April 1977 and March 1978. Pepper found his most dedicated and enthusiastic crowd in Japan, recording a good deal of live material there. In 1979, Pepper was approached by a small Japanese niche label, Yupiteru, later to become Atlas ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ari Hoenig: The Pauper And The Magician

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Concept albums have largely been the domain of progressive rock bands, whilst jazzers tend to prefer the term 'suite' to describe thematically linked pieces of music. Ari Hoenig's The Pauper and the Magician is arguably more the former than the latter, as these six compositions are inspired by a fable-like tale of Hoenig's design, without overt musical continuity. But for the liner notes describing the narrative as it unfolds-an evil magician entices a panhandling pauper to enter his wicked realm--it ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Sabu Martinez: Palo Congo – 1957

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1957 was a banner year for hard bop and Blue Note. In one year, the label released 40 albums, including classics from John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, Bud Powell, Lou Donaldson, Hank Mobley, Johnny Griffin and eight by Jimmy Smith alone. In the midst of all that hard bop, Blue Note released two percussion-based albums that were way off the beaten path. Art Blakey's Orgy in Rhythm was a drum-fest of epic proportions. Sabu Martinez's Palo Congo was a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Club d'Elf: Live at Club Helsinki

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The Boston-based collective Club d'Elf seems to attract genre labels like nobody's business. Moroccan-dosed dub-jazz, trance, psychedelia, free jazz, electronica, hip hop, avant-garde, jam band, rock...what other styles have you got? At one point or another any of these labels could apply, but the distinctions are blurred in the joyous sonic stew. The band has hosted a dizzying array of players: their website includes long lists of “Special Guests," “Rotating Cast," and “Occasional Conspirators." But the core group of bassist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Soldier: The Eighth Hour Of Amduat

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The idea of crafting a classical/jazz opera from an ancient Egyptian funerary papyrus would probably be too much for most ordinary mortals to contemplate. But this kind of thing isn't at all unexpected for Dave Soldier, whose dedication to unusual and surprising projects has defined his long avocation in music. (His primary calling is as a professor of neurology at Columbia, where he is known as Dave Sulzer.) He first studied composition with Roscoe Mitchell as an undergraduate, and eventually ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sure Fire Soul Ensemble: Out On The Coast

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Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, from jny: San Diego, is one of the most talented new bands on the West Coast. Mixing funk, soul, jazz, and Latin & African influences to create unique, exciting music... their “cinematic soul" is like a cross between the music from Jim Jarmusch movies & Blacksploitation films of the 1970s. And, you can dance to it! If you like Snarky Puppy, The Beastie Boys' instrumentals, Quantic, The New Mastersounds, Karl Denson & ...

INTERVIEWS

Matthew Shipp: Let's Do Lunch!

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When Matthew Shipp asked me to design the cover art for his Points album (Silkheart Records, 1992), I showed him works from the on-going drawing study I was engaged in. He picked one graphite drawing and said, “Wow! This is exactly what's happening inside my mind when I play the piano!" Here, we talk of the history of his musicianship; creative process; spirituality; interest in literature and life in jny: New York City. I am blessed to have ...

INTERVIEWS

Donny McCaslin: Bowie Deepened The Relationships In My Band

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Wherever the boundaries were in music, in most cases, they have perished and are no more. Jazz has always been a music of exploration and taking chances and as a result, has benefited from the dialogues with other music, be it folk, rock, classical or electronic. Saxophonist and composer Donny McCaslin certainly doesn't believe in boundaries. He is one of the handful musicians who uses different strands as a launching point for further exploration. His recent records Fast Future (Greenleaf, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau: Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau

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If you blinked at the wrong time, it was easy to miss the fact that Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau had played together at all. For two such restless collaborators, each occasional encounter was one more fleeting meet-up among many others--a quick one-off in 2011, a nine-city string of duo shows in 2013 and another two-night live stand after a couple years more. That last was accompanied by a quick stop in the studio to finally give the rest of ...


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